|Interferon gamma, line representation|
|RNA expression pattern|
Structure of IFN-γ
The IFN-γ monomer consists of a core of six α-helices and an extended unfolded sequence in the C-terminal region. This is shown in the structural models below. The α-helices in the core of the structure are numbered 1 to 6.
The biologically active dimer is formed by anti-parallel inter-locking of the two monomers as shown below. In the cartoon model, one monomer is shown in red, the other in blue.
The structural models shown above (see protein data bank code 1FG9) are all shortened at their C-termini by 17 amino acids. Full length IFN-γ is 143 amino acids in length, the models are 126 amino acids in length. Affinity for the glycosaminoglycan heparan sulfate resides solely within the deleted sequence of 17 amino acids.
In contrast to interferon-α and interferon-β which can be expressed by all cells, IFN-γ is secreted by Th1 cells, Tc cells, dendritic cells and NK cells. Also known as immune interferon, IFN-γ is the only Type II interferon. It is serologically distinct from Type I interferons and it is acid-labile, while the type I variants are acid-stable.
IFN-γ has antiviral, immunoregulatory, and anti-tumour properties. It alters transcription in up to 30 genes producing a variety of physiological and cellular responses. Amongst the effects are:
- Increase antigen presentation of macrophages.
- Activate and increase lysosome activity in macrophages
- Suppress Th2 cell activity.
- Cause normal cells to express class II MHC molecules
- Promotes adhesion and binding required for leukocyte migration
- Promotes NK cell activity
Activation by IFN-γ is achieved by its interaction with a heterodimeric receptor consisting of IFNGR1 & IFNGR2 (interferon gamma receptors). IFN-γ binding to the receptor activates the JAK-STAT pathway. In addition, IFN-γ activates APCs and promotes Th1 differentiation by upregulating the transcription factor T-bet.
IFN-γ is the hallmark cytokine of Th1 cells (Th2 cells produce IL-4). NK cells and CD8+ cytotoxic T cells also produce IFN-γ. IFN-γ suppresses osteoclast formation by rapidly degrading the RANK adaptor protein TRAF6 in the RANK-RANKL signaling pathway, which otherwise stimulates the production of NFκB.
|Systematic (IUPAC) name|
|Human interferon gamma-1b|
|CAS number|| |
|Mol. mass||17145.6 g/mol|
Interferons are used to treat infectious diseases and cancer.
Scientists at the University of California at Berkeley have recently discovered that Diindolylmethane (DIM), a naturally occurring compound found in Brassica vegetables, upon oral consumption, is a direct and potent activator of Interferon-Gamma production and sensitivity within the body leading the way for the study of this compound as an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer therapeutic. As this is a dietary compound found in edible vegetables, this has caused a lot of excitement in the immunology field. This compound has also been shown to synergize with Interferon-Gamma in the expression and potentiation of the MHC-I Complex, leading to its study as a possible adjuvant to Interferon-gamma therapeutic models.
- Gray, P. W. and Goeddel, D. V. (1982). "Structure of the human immune interferon gene". Nature 298: 859–863. doi:10.1038/298859a0.
- Ealick, S. E., Cook, W. J. et al. (1991). "Three-dimensional structure of recombinant human interferon-gamma". Science 252: 698–702. doi:10.1126/science.1902591.
- Thiel, D. J. et al. (2000). "Observation of an unexpected third receptor molecule in the crystal structure of human interferon-γ receptor complex". Structure 8 (9): 927–936. doi:10.1016/S0969-2126(00)00184-2.
- Vanhaverbeke, C. Simorre, J-P. et al. (2004). "NMR characterization of the interaction between the C-terminal domain of interferon-γ and heparin-derived oligosaccharides" 384: 93–99. PMID 15270718.
- Schroder et al. (2004). "Interferon-γ an overview of signals, mechanisms and functions". Journal of Leukocyte Biology 75: 163–189. doi:10.1189/jlb.0603252.
- Hall, Steven S. (1997) A Commotion in the Blood. New York, New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5841-9
- Information on Interferon and how it relates to hepatitis c
- Ikeda H, Old LJ, Schreiber RD (2002). "The roles of IFN gamma in protection against tumor development and cancer immunoediting.". Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 13 (2): 95–109. PMID 11900986.
- Chesler DA, Reiss CS (2003). "The role of IFN-gamma in immune responses to viral infections of the central nervous system.". Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 13 (6): 441–54. PMID 12401479.
- Dessein A, Kouriba B, Eboumbou C, et al. (2005). "Interleukin-13 in the skin and interferon-gamma in the liver are key players in immune protection in human schistosomiasis.". Immunol. Rev. 201: 180–90. doi:10.1111/j.0105-2896.2004.00195.x. PMID 15361241.
- Joseph AM, Kumar M, Mitra D (2005). "Nef: "necessary and enforcing factor" in HIV infection.". Curr. HIV Res. 3 (1): 87–94. PMID 15638726.
- Copeland KF (2006). "Modulation of HIV-1 transcription by cytokines and chemokines.". Mini reviews in medicinal chemistry 5 (12): 1093–101. PMID 16375755.
- Chiba H, Kojima T, Osanai M, Sawada N (2006). "The significance of interferon-gamma-triggered internalization of tight-junction proteins in inflammatory bowel disease.". Sci. STKE 2006 (316): pe1. doi:10.1126/stke.3162006pe1. PMID 16391178.
- Tellides G, Pober JS (2007). "Interferon-gamma axis in graft arteriosclerosis.". Circ. Res. 100 (5): 622–32. doi:10.1161/01.RES.0000258861.72279.29. PMID 17363708.
Antivirals, other than for HIV (primarily J05, also S01AD and D06BB)
|Anti-herpesvirus (DNA, I)||guanine analogues (Aciclovir, Famciclovir, Ganciclovir, Penciclovir, Valaciclovir, Valganciclovir) • nucleoside analogues (Idoxuridine, Trifluridine, Vidarabine) • Cidofovir • Docosanol • Fomivirsen • Foscarnet • Tromantadine|
|HPV/MC (DNA, I)||Imiquimod • Podophyllotoxin|
|Hepatitis B (DNA, VII)||Adefovir • Interferon alfa-2b • Pegylated interferon alfa-2a • Entecavir • Lamivudine • Telbivudine • Tenofovir†|
|Hepatitis C (RNA, IV)||Pegylated interferon alpha • Ribavirin • Taribavirin† • Boceprevir†|
|Picornavirus (RNA, IV)||Pleconaril†|
|Anti-influenza agents (RNA, V)||Arbidol neuraminidase inhibitors (Oseltamivir, Zanamivir, Peramivir†)|
|HIV (Reverse, VI)||See HIV pharm|
|Other antiviral agents||general (Inosine, Interferon)|
|†Undergoing clinical trials, not FDA approved.|
Immunomodulators - immunostimulants (L03)
|Colony stimulating factors||G-CSF (Filgrastim/Pegfilgrastim, Lenograstim) - GM-CSF (Molgramostim, Sargramostim) - SCF (Ancestim)|
|Interferons||alpha: Interferon alpha natural - Interferon alpha-2a/Peginterferon alpha-2a - Interferon alpha-2b/Peginterferon alpha-2b - Interferon alpha-n1 - Interferon alphacon-1 Interferon gamma|
|Interleukins||Aldesleukin - Oprelvekin|
|Other cytokines and endogenous immunostimulants||Female sex steroids - Pegademase - Poly ICLC - Immunocyanin - Tasonermin - Histamine dihydrochloride - prolactin - growth hormone - vitamin D|
|Exogenous||Lentinan - Roquinimex - BCG vaccine - Pidotimod - Poly I:C - Thymopentin - Melanoma vaccine - Glatiramer acetate -|
|Interferon type I||alpha (Pegylated interferon alfa-2a - Pegylated interferon alfa-2b), beta (Interferon beta-1a - Interferon beta-1b)|
|Interferon type II||Interferon-gamma|
|Interferon type III||Interleukin 28 - Interleukin 29|